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Posted 13 Jun 2016

Setting up Angular 2 in an ASP.NET 5 Environment

, 13 Jun 2016
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Explaining the processes involved in setting up Angular 2 within an ASP.NET 5 environment

Introduction

Getting a simple Angular 2 application up and running is fairly straight forward when following the 5 minute quickstart tutorial. To implement the same application in an ASP.NET 5 environment adds a lot of complexity not explained in the tutorial and therefore the purpose of this article is to explain the processes involved in setting up a basic Angular 2 application within an ASP.NET 5 environment.

IDE and Other Development Tool Versions

The versions of the IDE and other development tools used when writing this article is listed below:

  • Visual Studio 2015 14.0.24720.00 Update 1
  • Resharper Ultimate 2016.1.2
  • TypeScript 1.8.6
  • nodejs 4.4.5

Very Important

  • It is of critical importance to update to the latest version of ReSharper, JetBrains fixed some bugs related to the TyeScript inspection settings.
  • Visual Studio 2015 ships with an older version of Node.js, make sure that you update to the latest available release.

Setting Up An Empty ASP.NET 5 Web Project

From the File menu, select New > Project which will bring up the New Project dialog.

From the New Project dialog, select the ASP.NET Web Application template and name it Angular2QuickStart.

Click the Ok button and select the Empty ASP.NET 5 template from the ASP.NET Project dialog.

Click the Ok button which will create the empty ASP.NET 5 project for you.

Configure the ASP.NET Application to Serve Static Files

Open the Startup.cs file and remove the following code from the Configure method:

app.Run(async (context) =>
{
    await context.Response.WriteAsync("Hello World!");
});

Now add the following to the Configure method to enable the application to server default and static files such as index.html.

app.UseDefaultFiles();
app.UseStaticFiles();

The Configure method should now look like this:

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)
{
    app.UseIISPlatformHandler();
    app.UseDefaultFiles();
    app.UseStaticFiles();
}

Create the Index.html File

Right click on the wwwroot folder in Solution Explorer and select Add > New Item ... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Select the Text File template and name it Index.html.

Click on the Add button which will create the Index.html file and add the following HTML code to the file.

Update the project.json File

At the time of writing, the ASP.NET 5 application would end abrupty when running the project, this is because of the version used for the Microsoft.AspNet.StaticFiles dependency in the project.json file. To fix this problem, make the following changes to the project.json file:

  • Remove "dnxcore50": { } (The core framework is not used for this application)
  • Update the version of the Microsoft.AspNet.StaticFiles dependency to 1.0.0-rc1-final

The project.json should now look like this:

{
    "version": "1.0.0-*",
    "compilationOptions": {
        "emitEntryPoint": true
    },

    "dependencies": {
        "Microsoft.AspNet.IISPlatformHandler": "1.0.0-rc1-final",
        "Microsoft.AspNet.Server.Kestrel": "1.0.0-rc1-final",
        "Microsoft.AspNet.StaticFiles": "1.0.0-rc1-final"
    },

    "commands": {
        "web": "Microsoft.AspNet.Server.Kestrel"
    },

    "frameworks": {
        "dnx451": { }
    },

    "exclude": [
        "wwwroot",
        "node_modules"
    ],
    "publishExclude": [
        "**.user",
        "**.vspscc"
    ]
}

Save the file which should in turn update the project dependencies. Now run the application by pressing F5.

Create the typings.json File

Up to this point in the article, we did the setups and configurations for a working ASP.NET 5 web application that is serving static files. The next section will focus on the setups and configurations needed to incorporate Angular 2. Create a typings.json file in the project root folder.

Select the Client-side > JSON File template and click on the Add button.

Add the following to typings.json and save the file.

{
  "globalDependencies": {
    "core-js": "registry:dt/core-js#0.0.0+20160317120654",
    "jasmine": "registry:dt/jasmine#2.2.0+20160505161446",
    "node": "registry:dt/node#4.0.0+20160509154515"
  }
}

Create the package.json File

Create a package.json file in the project root folder. The package.json file is used to install Angular 2 and some other development dependencies. Right click on the project and select Add > New Item... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Select the Client-side > NPM Configuration File template and click on the Add button.

Add the following to package.json and save the file which will in turn install the specified dependencies. The file is similair to the package.json file provided by the 5 minute quickstart tutorial.

Please note: The only difference is the "gulp": "3.9.1" development dependency needed to copy files to the wwwroot folder.

{
  "name": "angular2-quickstart",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "tsc && 
    concurrently \"npm run tsc:w\" \"npm run lite\" ",
    "lite": "lite-server",
    "postinstall": "typings install",
    "tsc": "tsc",
    "tsc:w": "tsc -w",
    "typings": "typings"
  },
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "@angular/common": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/compiler": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/core": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/http": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/platform-browser": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/platform-browser-dynamic": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/router": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/router-deprecated": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "@angular/upgrade": "2.0.0-rc.1",
    "systemjs": "0.19.27",
    "core-js": "^2.4.0",
    "reflect-metadata": "^0.1.3",
    "rxjs": "5.0.0-beta.6",
    "zone.js": "^0.6.12",
    "angular2-in-memory-web-api": "0.0.11",
    "bootstrap": "^3.3.6"
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    "gulp": "3.9.1", 
    "concurrently": "^2.0.0",
    "lite-server": "^2.2.0",
    "typescript": "^1.8.10",
    "typings": "^1.0.4"
  }
}

Create the gulpfile.js File

One of the major differences when working with the basic Angular 2 application as explained in the 5 minute quickstart tutorial and an Angular 2 application within an ASP.NET 5 environment is that the files in the node_modules folder is not accessible from an ASP.NET 5 application. We therefore have to copy the files that we need from the node_modules folder to the wwwroot folder. We will do this using gulp.

Right click on the project and select Add > New Item... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Select the Client-side > Gulp Configuration File template and click on the Add button.

Add the following to gulpfile.js to create the tasks that will copy the Angular 2 dependencies to the wwwroot folder.

var gulp = require('gulp');
var rimraf = require('rimraf');

var paths = {
    npm: './node_modules/',
    angular: './wwwroot/lib/@angular/',
    angular2InMemoryWebApi: './wwwroot/lib/angular2-in-memory-web-api/',
    rxjs: './wwwroot/lib/rxjs/',
    lib: './wwwroot/lib/'
};

var angular = [
    paths.npm + '@angular/**/*'
];

var angular2InMemoryWebApi = [
    paths.npm + 'angular2-in-memory-web-api/**/*'
];

var rxjs = [
    paths.npm + 'rxjs/**/*'
];

var libs = [
    paths.npm + 'core-js/client/shim.min.js',
    paths.npm + 'zone.js/dist/zone.js',
    paths.npm + 'reflect-metadata/Reflect.js',
    paths.npm + 'systemjs/dist/system.src.js'
];

gulp.task('angular', function() {
    return gulp.src(angular).pipe(gulp.dest(paths.angular));
});

gulp.task('angular2InMemoryWebApi', function () {
    return gulp.src(angular2InMemoryWebApi).pipe(gulp.dest(paths.angular2InMemoryWebApi));
});

gulp.task('rxjs', function () {
    return gulp.src(rxjs).pipe(gulp.dest(paths.rxjs));
});

gulp.task('libs',function() {
    return gulp.src(libs).pipe(gulp.dest(paths.lib));
});

gulp.task('clean', function(callback) {
    rimraf(paths.lib, callback);
});

Bind the gulp Tasks to Visual Studio Events

To execute the gulp tasks, we have to bind them to Visual Studio events. Right click on gulpfile.js in Solution Explorer and select Task Runner Explorer.

Click on the refresh button in Task Runner Explorer to update the gulp tasks created.

To bind the gulp task to a Visual Studio event, right click [task] > Bindings > [Visual Studio Event]

Bind the gulp tasks to the Visual Studio events as specified below:

  • angular -> After Build
  • angular2InMemoryWebApi -> After Build
  • clean -> Clean
  • libs -> After Build
  • rxjs -> After Build

Build the project which should now create the lib folder within the wwwroot folder.

Please note: The initial copy might take a while to complete.

The wwwroot folder will look like this after the build.

Creating the Angular 2 TypeScript Files

The purpose of this article is to explain the processes involved in setting up Angular 2 within an ASP.NET 5 environment and therefore I will not explain the content of the TypeScript files we will be creating in this section.

Also take note that you do not have to use TypeScript, it is simply my personal preference. You can also write your Angular 2 applications using the following:

  • JavaScript
  • Dart

Right click on the project and select Add > New Folder.

Rename the folder to scripts:

Right click the scripts and select Add > New Item... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Add an app.component.ts file by selecting the Client-side > TypeScript File template and clicking on the Add button.

Add the following code to the app.component.ts file:

import { Component } from '@angular/core';
@Component({
    selector: 'my-app',
    template: Congratulations on your fisrt Angular 2 application in an ASP.NET 5 environment!'
})
export class AppComponent { }

Right click the scripts folder and select Add > New Item... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Add a main.ts file by selecting the Client-side > TypeScript File template and clicking on the Add button.

Add the following code to the main.ts file:

import { bootstrap }    from '@angular/platform-browser-dynamic';
import { AppComponent } from './app.component';
bootstrap(AppComponent);

Create the tsconfig.json File

We have to configure the TypeScript compiler options, this is done by creating a tsconfig.json file.

Right click the project and select Add > New Item... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Add a tsconfig.json file by selecting the Client-side > TypeScript JSON Configuration File template and clicking on the Add button.

Add the following to the tsconfig.json file:

{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es5",
    "module": "commonjs",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "sourceMap": true,
    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "removeComments": false,
    "noImplicitAny": false,
    "outDir": "wwwroot/app/"
  },
  "exclude": [
    "node_modules",
    "wwwroot"
  ]
}

Build the project which should create the wwwroot/app folder containing main.js and app.component.js.

Create the systemjs.config.js File

This file was adopted from the one provided by the 5 minute quickstart tutorial.

Right click the wwwroot folder and select Add > New Item... which will bring up the Add New Item dialog.

Add a systemjs.config.js file by selecting the Client-side > JavaScript File template and clicking on the Add button.

Add the following to the systemjs.config.js file:

/**
 * System configuration for Angular 2 samples
 * Adjust as necessary for your application needs.
 */
(function (global) {
    // map tells the System loader where to look for things
    var map = {
        'app': 'app', // 'dist',
        '@angular': 'lib/@angular',
        'angular2-in-memory-web-api': 'lib/angular2-in-memory-web-api',
        'rxjs': 'lib/rxjs'
    };
    // packages tells the System loader how to load when no filename and/or no extension
    var packages = {
        'app': { main: 'main.js', defaultExtension: 'js' },
        'rxjs': { defaultExtension: 'js' },
        'angular2-in-memory-web-api': { main: 'index.js', defaultExtension: 'js' },
    };
    var ngPackageNames = [
      'common',
      'compiler',
      'core',
      'http',
      'platform-browser',
      'platform-browser-dynamic',
      'router',
      'router-deprecated',
      'upgrade',
    ];
    // Individual files (~300 requests):
    function packIndex(pkgName) {
        packages['@angular/' + pkgName] = { main: 'index.js', defaultExtension: 'js' };
    }
    // Bundled (~40 requests):
    function packUmd(pkgName) {
        packages['@angular/' + pkgName] = { main: pkgName + '.umd.js', defaultExtension: 'js' };
    };
    // Most environments should use UMD; some (Karma) need the individual index files
    var setPackageConfig = System.packageWithIndex ? packIndex : packUmd;
    // Add package entries for angular packages
    ngPackageNames.forEach(setPackageConfig);
    var config = {
        map: map,
        packages: packages
    }
    System.config(config);
})(this);

Update the Index.html File

Update the Index.html file as depicted in the following image to setup the Angular 2 application.

Build and run the application to see the Angular 2 application in action.

Congratulations! You just created your first Angular 2 application in an ASP.NET 5 environment.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

andre.lombaard
Product Manager Cellsure
South Africa South Africa
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionMessage Closed Pin
29-May-17 15:10
memberMember 1322976929-May-17 15:10 
PraiseYour article really helped a lot. Pin
Amit Gupta AG7-Sep-16 16:29
memberAmit Gupta AG7-Sep-16 16:29 
QuestionNuget manager Pin
miguel_14-Jun-16 15:18
membermiguel_14-Jun-16 15:18 
AnswerRe: Nuget manager Pin
andre.lombaard14-Jun-16 20:59
memberandre.lombaard14-Jun-16 20:59 
QuestionThanks for this article! Pin
GregoryW13-Jun-16 23:22
memberGregoryW13-Jun-16 23:22 
QuestionGreat! Pin
Vincent Maverick Durano13-Jun-16 7:52
professionalVincent Maverick Durano13-Jun-16 7:52 

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